US to take 'active' role in seeking Mideast peace: envoy | world | Hindustan Times
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US to take 'active' role in seeking Mideast peace: envoy

world Updated: Jan 31, 2009 06:50 IST

US envoy George Mitchell said on Friday the United States is committed to "actively and aggressively" seeking lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians as well as its other Arab neighbours.

Speaking after touring a UN warehouse in Jerusalem packed with aid destined for the Gaza Strip, US President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy also called for a durable ceasefire in the ravaged Palestinian territory.

"The United States remains committed to actively and aggresively seeking a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians as well as between Israel and its Arab neighbours," he said at the UN Relief and Works Agency

"The tragic violence in Gaza and in south Israel offers a sobering reminder of the very serious and difficult challenges and, unfortunately, the setbacks that will come.

"It is important to consolidate a sustainable and durable ceasefire while addressing immediately humanitarian needs," he said.

Mitchell, who delivered his statement in front of pallets of flour and cooking oil bound for the impoverished Palestinian enclave, announced that Obama "directed the use of another 20.3 million dollars to provide emergency food and medical assistance to the wounded and displaced in Gaza."

He said the funds were in addition to about 40 million dollars that the United States has provided to humanitarian programmes in Gaza since hostilities broke out in December.